Pope Francis continues his push for Christian churches to work together. Today he made his first visit to Geneva, once a Protestant Reformation stronghold, where he urged for greater togetherness at an ecumenical prayer service hosted by the World Council of Churches, which is marking its 70th anniversary this year.
The pope told his hosts: “I have desired to come here, a pilgrim in quest of unity and peace. I thank God because here I have found you, brothers and sisters, already making this same journey.”
The WWC represents some 350 Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican churches with around 500 million believers among them.
His daylong trip to the Swiss city is aimed at helping Francis promote his view that Christians, despite theological differences, can join forces to work for peace and justice in the world.
“For us as Christians, walking together is not a ploy to strengthen our own positions, but an act of obedience to the Lord and love for our world,” Francis said, speaking in Italian.
Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ When there is no peace. Jeremiah 6:14
Charles Spurgeon said; “To remain divided is sinful! Did not our Lord pray, that they may be one, even as we are one”? (John 17:22). A chorus of ecumenical voices keep harping the unity tune. What they are saying is, “Christians of all doctrinal shades and beliefs must come together in one visible organization, regardless… Unite, unite!” Such teaching is false, reckless and dangerous. Truth alone must determine our alignments. Truth comes before unity. Unity without truth is hazardous. –
"We cannot purchase peace and unity by sacrificing the truth. The conflict may be long and painful, but at any cost we must hold fast to the Word of God" EGW (Historical Sketches 197).